3 Qualities that make a good boss good and if lacking a bad boss bad!

I have worked for good bosses and I have worked for bad bosses and I have worked for bosses that were supposed to be good bosses and turned out to be bad bosses. What makes a good boss good? Beyond the basics...thou shalt not: scream, grope, fart and berate, there are other less obvious characteristics that make up a good boss.

A good boss has 3 main characteristics; egalitarianism, compassion and communication. Egalitarianism, I had to look up the word to make sure I had the right one. Egalitarianism means the equality of all people and it is exactly the word that I wanted. Egalitarianism is sorely lacking in Manhattan work places. Maybe it's me, maybe it's because I am not from Manhattan, but one thing that I have noticed that is quite pronounced here is that people who have power, people who have money and people who have position, for some reason think that they are worth more than people who don't. How this plays out in the work place is a lack of respect by bosses for their employees, simply because they are their employees. It boggles the mind or at least it boggles my mind. Therefore, a boss who practices egalitarianism, who treats all people fairly and with respect is a good boss in my book.

The second most important trait is compassion. A good boss realizes that the world does not revolve around the job, yes THE JOB is important, yes an employee should work hard and be responsible and reliable, however, there are events and circumstances that require a pause in the workplace. There are times when the job is not as important as certain life events. And at those times, the job needs to take a second place to whatever it is that is going on in the employees life. When there is a death, when there is an illness and when planes hit towers killing almost 3,000 people. work does not and should not continue on schedule. Compassion requires acknowledging these events and a good boss will do just that.

Last but certainly not least is communication. A boss that does not communicate well is not a good boss. Lack of communication can be interpreted as lack of respect, a subtle message from one person to another that what they are saying is not important enough to understand. Lack of communication also makes working together virtually impossible and if it becomes chronic one starts to wonder if there are ulterior motives being played out. A good boss will be clear and concise, will not back peddle or say he or she asked something of you when they didn't so that they can cover their asses, nor will they say one thing and then do another. A lack of communication says more about whom the person is and what they are about in negative ways than any other attribute.

The best bosses I've ever had held all these attributes, they eventually became friends as well as co-workers and I can't help but think that they as well as I benefited mutually from the healthy atmosphere they fostered.

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majicat profile image

majicat 7 years ago

Nice post, Brie.

I am self employed and my boss is a real slave driver!

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author


Harry Paul 7 years ago

A good boss is one that becomes the mentor of their employees. They grow and develop their team to be the best that they can be.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

I very much agree Harry.

majicat profile image

majicat 6 years ago

The narcissistic personality disorder is at epidemic levels in this country. The characteristic signs of; shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation and bad boundaries always swirl around such characters like pig-pens cloud. the only way to live such a one is to be constantly sucking up, buttressing up their china fragile egos otherwise you will endure the wrath of their contempt. it is all about ego. if you are a good person with sparkling qualities they will be attracted to you and you'll get hired, but the very things that attracted them to you in the first place will later become a threat, you must never outshine them or they will tear you down. it seems to me that this is at the root of what makes a bad boss. the sad thing is that you must choose either to pay the price, or get out..sometimes the only means for survival is to do just that or at the very least maintain your emotional distance

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

To Everyone who has commented in the last 2 months: For some reason my email notification was off so I wasn't notified when you wrote your comments. Thanks for commenting and I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond in a timely manner.

Rismayanti profile image

Rismayanti 6 years ago from Tropical Island

ehmmm... thanks for share

ROCKY 6 years ago

Ihad a boss that was a real ball buster..till one night he got drunk at a bar we all stopped at after work...the prick passed out..so we took pics of him with one of the local whores and then a dog plus other nasty shit...We sent the pics to his wife...mother...church...and his boss!!!

we heard he's now in new mexico driving a truck!!!!!!!!!!

Chase 6 years ago

Majicat has a good point, it does seem narcissists and sociopaths are rampant in offices. It begs the question...

Do people who show these traits as a boss also exhibit this behavior in their life out of the office?

Does the office culture/environment produce or magnify these traits in people as they become managers and bosses?

Is the office culture biased toward promoting those who exhibit narcissistic or worse traits?

Is the surrounding culture as a whole, let's say, America, producing more and more people who either are narcissists or become so when put in positions of authority.

Or is it a hodge podge of all that and more?

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

All good questions.

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